‘With both the Genesis Revisited tour and album I feel I've given people something they had really wanted for a long time’ says legendary guitarist Steve Hackett, and that certainly seemed to be the case when he released ‘Genesis Revisited II’ in October 2012. Met with a vociferous and fantastic response from fans and critics alike, it was clear that there was an appetite for these classic songs, with the album reaching the number 26 spot in the UK National Album Charts.
The ensuing tour was met with an equally stunning reception, and on the 10th May 2013, Steve Hackett and his band performed a sold-out show at London’s legendary Hammersmith Apollo. For that night, his usual band which includes Nad Sylvan (vocals), Lee Pomeroy (bass & twelve-string), Roger King (keyboards), Gary O’Toole (drums) and Rob Townsend (saxophone, woodwind) were joined by a host of guests that had previously appeared on the studio album, to create a special show. As Steve himself remarks, ‘playing to a sold-out Hammersmith Apollo was truly a homecoming to remember and in front of such a great crowd.’
Joining him for the rapturously received performance that evening were Nik Kershaw, John Wetton, Amanda Lehman, Steve Rothery and Jakko Jaksyzk, who all gave sublime performances on the night, providing their considerable talents on tracks like ‘The Lamia’ and ‘Afterglow’. Not only that, but the band tackled the full 23- minute progressive rock classic ‘Supper’s Ready’ as well as other fan favourites such as ‘Watcher Of The Skies’ and ‘Dance On A Volcano’. ‘A particular moment from the London show that I remember is the standing ovation to The Musical Box; I felt the team really delivered’ says Hackett, but the reality is that the evening was full of these kind of moments from start to finish, and this DVD document is proof of that.
Genesis Revisited II Background
If you love quality rock music, then you will certainly have heard Steve Hackett’s work on some of the greatest songs of the past four decades. Whether with Genesis, GTR or on his solo output, the man has been a giant of the prog genre.
His guitar style and range has been both innovative and inspirational and he’s most definitely among the greats on the instrument, as you can tell by listening back to Genesis classics like ‘Firth Of Fifth’, ‘Supper’s Ready’ or ‘The Musical Box’. His sense of drama and diversity was accentuated by a desire to try different ideas, something that’s still true. In fact, he used the famed finger tapping technique a few years before Eddie Van Halen, which was readily acknowledged by the latter.
The success he enjoyed with Genesis on six acclaimed studio albums allowed Hackett to subsequently become a consummate and powerful artist in his own right. All you have to do is check out the breadth and depth of the music on his solo records to appreciate that the man has grasped the opportunity to be in control of his own destiny. To create impassioned music that has never become rooted in clichés or stuck in a rut.
And Hackett, a master songwriter as well as being a supreme musician, has also worked smoothly with other top names. He teamed up with guitarist Steve Howe of Yes fame in GTR, releasing one self-titled album that was a big seller. He’s also continued a Yes connection by recently forming Squackett, with bassist Chris Squire.
From classical to jazz to rock to world music, Hackett has spanned the spectrum of what’s possible, in the process proving to be a big influence on Brian May, Eddie Van Halen and Rush’s Alex Lifeson to name but three. And, over the past few years, he’s enjoyed a purple passage of creativity, leading to the release of some of the finest albums in his distinguished career.
His latest album basks in the title of ‘Genesis Revisited II’. A follow-up to 1996’s ‘Genesis Revisited’, as the title suggests, it sees the guitarist reinterpreting the golden era of the great band – one in which he was crucially involved – while also remaining true to the original spirit which produced such a remarkable string of timeless songs.
“This time around, I’ve tried to satisfy what everyone wants, including myself. Initially, I was thinking of just going for the best songs not featured on the first album. But then people thought I should do those tracks where the guitar was emphasized. So, I’ve done both. I’ve also included four songs, which have Genesis connections, where the song was written originally for the band, or rehearsed by them. For instance, there’s ‘Please Don’t Touch’, which I wrote for Genesis, but eventually ended up recording myself.”
The vocalists include Steven Wilson, Mikael Akerfeldt, Simon Collins (Phil Collins’ son), Conrad Keely, Francis Dunnery, Neal Morse, John Wetton, Nad Sylvan and Nik Kershaw. There are also two other guitarists apart from Hackett, namely Steve Rothery of Marillion and Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings and Transatlantic. In all, you’ll hear around 35 guests.
“What I’m doing is celebrating music without prejudice, which was what Genesis stood for back then. We really had no limits, everything was possible. You could have short songs, long songs, loud bits, quiet moments, boys’ own adventures, pantomime, humour, big band sounds, jazz, classical music…there was no barrier to what we were doing.”